Science Engagement Platform

The Science Engagement Platform strives to bridge the gap between formal education and community development through awareness initiatives such as job shadowing opportunities, Career Festivals, National Science Week, National Marine Week and Ocean Sciences Campus Tours activities. Educational outreach seeks to expose and nurture grade 9, 10 and 11 learners to scientific activities to raise their awareness and enhance their scientific skills. The programme provides learner-teacher- support workshops that provide them with an opportunity to engage in hands-on science. The Schoolyard LTER programme is a school based monitoring example where schools collect and analyse data from weather stations provided to them by SAEON to develop projects.

Science camps offer hands-on experience opportunities to both learners and educators to engage in real science and develop scientific knowledge and skills whilst interacting with role models and practicing scientists. Selected learners are provided with an opportunity to participate in the annual SAEON Education Symposium, The Marine Remote Imagery Platform (MAR-IP), managed by SAIAB, provides access to a variety of underwater imaging equipment that can be used to conduct exploratory and quantitative surveys of benthic, demersal and pelagic marine biota. The equipment includes a SAAB Seaeye Falcon remotely operated vehicle (ROV) capable of working down to 300 m depth and fitted with a 12 megapixel still camera, a high definition video camera and a 5 function manipulator arm for collecting specimen samples. 18 SHALLOW MARINE AND COASTAL RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE 19 Science Engagement Platform where they present their school-based projects, or projects developed from SAEON/ SMCRI data, in front of their peers, teachers, education officials and other guests. Learners who work on SMCRI-related topics are assisted by SMCRI staff in their preparations for the education symposium and ESKOM Science Expo for Young Scientists.